For this edition of Behind the Headphones, we spoke to Dutch electronic musician Matthew Dekay. Matthew has had a fascination with electronic music since the 90’s, his hometown of Haarlem, a convenient 10-minute train ride away from Amsterdam, placed him in the perfect location to indulge his curiosity in the vast networks of clubs that the city contained. Since then Matthew Dekay has embarked on a sonic journey that has seen him explore his creativity in some of the biggest clubs in the world including Amnesia and Space in Ibiza. Production wise Matthew has released on labels such as Innervisions, Siamese, and Anjunadeep to name a few.
We spoke to Matthew on his All Day I Dream parties with Lee Burridge, his proudest moments, and his latest ‘1234’ release.
When did you start DJing? What was it that drew you towards music and who were your earliest influences?
I started djing internationally around 2003. My influences at the time were progressive house djs from Danny Howells to Sasha and the like. I come from a classical piano background and always tend to be drawn into the more musical side of electronic music.
Alongside Lee Burridge, you created the brand “All Day I Dream”, how did your relationship with Lee first evolve?
I met Lee in the summer of 2008 in NYC. I was invited by a promoter Mike Bindra who ran a series of small intimate parties called “Save the Cannibals” it was a passion project of his for real music lovers besides his bigger festival called “Electric Zoo”. He told me to come see Lee play an all night long solo gig. My manager at the time was friends with Mike and we decided to have a look together. It was literally a floor with a max capacity of about 100 people. The NY electronic scene was very small at the time especially for the type of music that Lee was playing which was sort of a cross between tech-house, minimal and prog. Lee blew me away as a dj and kind of made me fall in love with electronic music all over again. We instantly clicked when we met and we swapped phone numbers immediately. It wasn’t long before we met up in the studio and the rest is history.
You have thrown “All Day I Dream” parties all across the world, is there one the stands out the most to you and why?
For me I’ve always had a crush on California. I don’t know what it is about that place but I like the vibe. My favourite All Day I Dream was one of the first ones we did in LA. It was on a roof of a parking garage. We had about 1000 people come for that show. For me this was the peak of the right size party and musically I think we really were pushing into a new direction. Nobody was doing what we were doing at that time. I remember playing a 20min ambient track in the middle of my set. It was magic and the people that were there were just so open for everything. No expectations as this was a complete new experience. I can’t believe this is now almost 10 years ago. Time flies.
Currently, what are your three favourite pieces of equipment in your studio at the moment and why?
I used to have a studio full of equipment but the more tools I had the less music I wrote. For me its nowadays very simple. MacBook laptop, Apollo audio interface and Audeze headphones. That’s it 🙂
What has been the proudest moment of your life to date?
I think the proudest moment for me is last year when my team was able to help me release my long awaited track called “Heimreise” . I still don’t know how they pulled it off but I am proud of the people I have around today. I feel very lucky!
Do you prefer doing live sets or DJ sets, what is it that you prefer about either one?
I’ve played live sets in the 90s and that was the only way for me to perform. I was never really into djing. I always felt it was like cheating, playing someone else’s music. However my love for djing really grew when I’ve met amazing djs like Danny Howells or Sasha & Digweed, the same goes for Ricardo Villalobos but if I have to choose I definitely prefer a live set over djing. I think a Live set is more adventures but djing is definitely more convenient as you just rock up with a few records and a usb drive. I do think I will go back to my piano roots and tour with a new live show that is more of a listening experience.
Your latest release 1234 is out now on YokoO’s new label, Satya. Can you tell us a bit about the track and how it was made?
I made the track about 4 years ago. What started as a jam became a nice dubby record that I played in many of my dj sets.
If you could produce a track with any artist past or present who would it be and why?
I honestly don’t have any wishes here as I just go with the flow but I’d love to meet a new undiscovered singer/songwriter that sounds like a cross between Adele, Björk, Mary J Blidge. So if anyone reads this and is a singer song writer. Please contact me on Instagram 😉
You can buy Matthew Dekay ‘1234’ here.